St Albans City FC have reached the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round after beating Northern Premier League side Mickleover Sports at home on penalties, a side who are one tier below them in the pyramid.
James Kaloczi gave the Saints the lead in the first half, before the away side pegged them back early in the second half, but City managed to prevail in the penalty shootout, winning 4-3.
Devante Stanley had the Saints’ first opportunity of the game after he cut inside onto his left foot and produced an effort which looked certain to hit the back of the net, but Mickleover’s ‘keeper denied him acrobatically.
Kaloczi did manage to give them the lead however on the 24th minute after his headed effort beat the goalkeeper. 1-0
Mickleover almost pegged them back 10 minutes later when Declan Bacon managed to get a shot away at Michael Johnson, but he wasn’t too troubled by the effort from a tight angle.
Zane Banton almost doubled City’s lead moments before half time after he found himself in acres of space in the box, but Joe Slinn saved the effort well.
Despite controlling the first half, St Albans were pegged back in the 52nd minute when Bacon found himself in the right place to tap home from a few yards out. 1-1
Kaloczi had the best chance to restore the home side’s lead, but his headed effort from a corner was well cleared off the line, ensuring a penalty shootout was needed to separate the sides.
Mickleover’s first penalty was saved by Johnson, but St Albans’ Kyran Wiltshire missed his opportunity to win the tie.
His blushes were spared however, with Bevan squandering the chance to level things, sending St Albans through in the process.
The draw for the Fourth Qualifying Round is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, where a victory for Ian Allinson’s men would see them progress to the FA Cup First Round Proper for the first time since 2016.
The Saints are back in National League South action this weekend where they welcome Ebbsfleet United to Clarence Park.
Picture credit: Mickleover FC